A Message from the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago - Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs)
National Child Abuse Prevention Month observed annually in April, seeks to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse. Families, schools and communities are encouraged to share child abuse prevention strategies and promote prevention across the country.
As we observe Child Abuse Prevention Month under the theme 'NO EXCUSE FOR CHILD ABUSE' we must work together to curb all forms of abuse. When we work together to invest in children and families it creates a rippling effect on future generations, leading to a lifetime of productivity and social responsibility.
Here are three ways that you can get involved in the national child protection movement.
Firstly, the office of the Prime Minister has completed the draft National Child Policy. You can visit their website at www.opm-gca.gov.tt, to review and share your views on what you would like to see included in the policy.
Secondly, I challenge you to do your part in learning the act F.A.S.T. Anti-child Abuse acronym and teach it to at least five children. Teach them that in cases of abuse they can act F.A.S.T.
F stands for Family: Talk to a trusted family member that can assist in the process or contact the National Family Services or any Non-Governmental Organisation supporting children and families.
A stands for Authority: Contact an Authority such as the Police Service at 999 and the Children's Authority at 996 / 800-2014 for help and support.
S stands for Support Services: Speak to Guidance Officers, School Social Workers, Teachers, Principals for help and support.
T stands for Telephone and Trusted Adult: Contact ChildLine at 131 or 800-4321 or tell a trusted adult to guide you.
Thirdly, as our young ones enjoy their upcoming Easter Vacation, the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs) is encouraging parents to work with us to keep children safe, secure and happy by applying the S.A.F.E.T.Y acronym:
Supervise: Ensure trusted adults oversee children at all times to prevent accidents, abuse and neglect. Monitor their use of cell phones and the internet to encourage and ensure constructive use.
Act: Ensure children know to act quickly in cases of emergencies. Teach them emergency contact numbers and safety procedures
Focus: Implement a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle including appropriate diet, exercise and well-planned activities.
Educate: Continue Educating your child. Ensure your child spends at least 1 hour reading or doing school work each day. Take responsibility for teaching your child their rights and responsibilities.
Touch: Ensure you teach your child the differences between good and bad, and how to say NO to inappropriate touches by peers and adults.
You: You are important to your child. Spend quality and talk with your child daily. This increases your awareness of any changes in your child's life.
To continue supporting your efforts, the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs) will roll out several initiatives in the coming months aimed at raising awareness on child abuse. Our public education and sensitization efforts will include the following key initiatives:
1. The Child Abuse Prevention Media Campaign which will utilise advertisements on television, radio, newspapers, brochures and social media.
2. Child Protection Training Workshops for Coaches and Early Childhood Educators.
3. The Child Protection League: An Interactive Child Protection Fair for children and parents scheduled for the 4th June 2019 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts.
Remember that child abuse does not only affect the body but can deeply wound the mind, heart and soul of a child. Therefore let us work together by talking about it, reporting it and breaking the silence, because there is'NO EXCUSE FOR CHILD ABUSE'.
ChildLine Message on Close of 2018
As we approach the end of 2018, the team at ChildLine would like to extend best wishes to you, members of our ChildLine community.
During 2018 our society has supported the foundation pillars of equality, integrity and respect for every creed and race. However, we are concerned with the brutal violence inflicted on our men, women and innocent children in 2018. It is tragic that our precious children have become the victims of violent and inhumane attacks, resulting in serious injuries and even death!
The welfare and protection of our children is the obligation of every responsible adult. The proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child” is now most relevant and critical in the protection of our children. We beseech all adults to accept and share in this responsibility and to look out for the welfare of the children within our community. Take proactive action if you observe unusual and suspicious activities that could harm our children.
Parents and guardians, please know where your children are at all times. Be involved and present in their lives; show care and love to create trust and dialogue.
As we approach the end of 2018, we appeal to you to resolve to make 2019 a better and safer year for our children.
May 2019 be a year of peace and love for all of Trinidad and Tobago.